Ireland’s teacher unions have voted for an emergency motion for industrial action if they are not prioritised for vaccination.
The unions are giving the government until summertime to put teachers back on the priority list for Covid-19 vaccines.
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) each voted in favour of the motion this morning.
The joint motion demands that the government re-instates education staff as a priority group within the national vaccination programme, considering “the essential nature of their work which requires them to be in daily contact with a large number of persons from a large number of households” and “considering that social distancing is problematic and not assured given the crowded nature, structure and layout of our workplaces.”
The motion also demands early vaccination within the overall cohort of education staff, of pregnant teachers, those in higher risk categories and those who work in special schools, special classes, and home school community liaison teachers.
If the government does not agree to prioritise teachers in the programme by the end of the current school year, the motion mandates a ballot of members for industrial action up to and including strike.